Awakin Q&A With Gary Zukav And Linda Francis

Posted by Dinesh Mehta on Jan 13, 2018
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[At this week's Awakin Circle in Santa Clara, authors Gary Zukav and Linda Francis were visiting. They'd planned to just be "guest listeners" during the circle of sharing, but we were spontaneously moved to invite them to share reflections around this week's passage, followed by popcorn Q&A from around the circle. Below is a lightly edited transcript of the illuminating Q&A, which touched on topics of multisensory perception, driving force of love and fear, and spiritual partnership.]

Question: Listening to you speak, I'm struck by how it's seems almost normal for you to view the world from this reflective space -- where you can notice the different elements of your personality and practice not being controlled by it, but rather, engage with yourself, others and the world from deeper sense of self and place of compassion. What prompted you to begin to see the world in such a way?

Gary: My adopted Sioux uncle told me once, he said, "Don't you know, nephew, the biggest journey you're going to make in your life is from here [points to forehead] to here [points to heart].

Oh was he right. That's a long way. And I'm still, I think, maybe 65 percent here in my head. Maybe 77 percent -- no -- 93 percent in my head.

But that means the rest of me is here. And that's the part I use as my guide now. And I have to distinguish between the two -- between fear and love.

Well, I don't have to, but if I want to create different consequences in my life than the ones I created when I was not conscious of the fears that I had, then I have to. In other words, when I was in my twenties, when I was in the army, I had a particular kind of behavior. I was too frightened to even consider the idea that I was frightened. Do you know what the clinical name for that is?

Macho. :)

It's really painful place to live and that's why macho people are so dangerous. They're explosive. They don't have a place in the sun. Actually they do, but they don't feel it. And have got to prove it in every way. All the time. Just like a banker has got to get more and more money. And a startup entrepreneur has got to make it big and sell his company. And someone on the street has got to get dreadlocks that are down to the lower back, because down to the shoulders is not as impressive. All of that is the pursuit of external power -- the ability to control and manipulate other people with anything you have -- your intelligence, your appearance, your education, your wealth, your new mountain bike... And that's what our world is made of. That's the world we've inherited from five sensory humans, And they were doing their best.

Actually, everybody does their best, even those with the worst behavior. And once you begin to see that, then compassion -- the Buddhists and this lovely word -- "arises". It says it wasn't there, but now it's there, and your heart begins to melt.

So, it took a lot of work.

And that's the work I was talking about -- the multisensory perception -- that was a gift it just sort of started to come authentic power it doesn't just sort of start to come.

Linda: What does that mean? "Multisensory perception started to come." What does that mean.

Gary: Oh it means -- have you ever talk to an angel? Or thought that you had? Well just the thought that maybe you have or are, that's a multisensory perception. I'm not saying believe it just because the thought occurs to you, but don't dismiss it either. If you think you're talking with an angel, what's the angel saying to you. And if I did that, what would that create? Would it be something constructive in my life or not? If not, you're not talking with an angel. But, be open. You see what I mean? Have you ever had that thought, "Oh I'll paraphrase a poem by Juan Ramon Jimenez, a Spanish Nobel laureate.

It's called "I Am Not I" And he says:
I am not I.
I am this one
walking beside me whom I do not see,
whom at times I manage to visit,
and whom at other times I forget;
the one who remains silent while I talk,
the one who forgives, sweet, when I hate,
the one who takes a walk when I am indoors,
the one who will remain standing when I die.

Do you think Juan Ramon was multisensory? Mm-hmm. And we are becoming multisensory, too. When you look at the world, the five century person thinks the world is random. You've got good luck or you've got bad luck. A multisensory individual looks at the world and he sees himself or herself reflected in it. The world becomes meaningful, symbolic. It's not an other, outside. It's intimate. The entire universe is intimate. These are all multisensory perceptions and that's what I mean when I say they start to happen.

Question: How do you align your personality with your soul? How can a person be spiritual in the world and follow their soul? I'd like to flow, and sometimes it feels I'm struggling with myself.

Linda: What I do every day is to see how I can create with love, no matter what. So I'm always looking at every choice that I make, and asking: is it coming from love or is it coming from fear? It doesn't matter what it is that you're making a decision about, but is the intention behind what you're doing (or what you're going to act on) coming from love? Or is it coming from fear?

So that's how I try my best to make all of my decisions. I'm always looking at that, because it's not about the action that you're taking, it's why you're doing it. Is it coming from love, or is it coming from fear? And that's just a question that I ask myself. That's how I align myself with my soul. I don't do that by creating with fear. I do that by creating with love more and more. No matter what the action is.

Gary: Now, what Linda is talking about is intention. And intention is a quality of consciousness that infuses a deed or a word. And in the Earth school there's just two intentions. You may think there's countless intentions: I'm going to get a job. I'm going to get a car. I'm going to get laid. I'm going to have children. I'm going to get a degree. I'm going to go skiing."

But underneath, all of these -- what you might call them 'out-tensions' -- are two intentions: love and fear. Whenever you have fear in your body, you'll feel painful, physical sensations in your chakra areas. Try it out: Jealousy -- oh, that's painful. Fear. Anger. Resentment. Whenever you have love in you -- energy in you -- it feels wonderful. Try that out.

Try remembering to look inside in your chakra areas the next time you're feeling grateful and see what you feel like. And I don't mean grateful for someone because of what they can do for you or give you -- I mean grateful because you're just grateful to be alive, and you're grateful they're alive with you.

That feels good. So then after a while you get the practice of choosing the loving intentions before you speak and before you act.

Question: I read your book, The Seat of the Soul, for the first time almost 20 years ago. The chapters in it -- the topics have been chosen -- are very precise: intention, karma, freedom. Where did that come from? What was the inspiration and what was the process like writing that book?

Gary: I've discovered something as I've discovered multisensory perception in me: It's not possible to be alone. That means it's impossible to create anything alone.

So these wonderful thoughts like we're talking about tonight, that are in The Seat Of The Soul, come from the universe. I'm not wise enough or smart enough to generate that, but I am smart enough to listen. I am smart enough to live my life according to wisdom when I recognize it. And that makes me the authority in my life and creating authentic power makes you the authority in your life. So does that mean I'm a channel? Man, do I wish. [laughter] I would love to sit down at a keyboard and close my eyes, and afterwards have a book that Oprah loves and is on the New York Times bestseller list. I just keep my eyes close and keep typing. :)

There's only one problem with that. It wouldn't change me. And these books change me.

In order to begin to articulate and express the things that are really important in them, I have to go there myself.

And it's hard. It really is. Sometimes as a writer -- I don't know how many of you are writers -- but it isn't all what I thought it was. It's a matter of being true to yourself. Well, your Self has got frightened parts and loving parts. Which one am I going to be true to? And, by the way, when I say "love" or "loving parts," I'm not talking about sentimental, romantic love. I'm not talking about heart-shaped boxes of candy and Valentine's cards. I'm talking about the most healthy, grounded, real, anchored, constructive, beneficial, contributing part of your personality. That's the loving part.

Linda: One thing that Gary and I always tell people is that what we're sharing is something that we have been learning from. We don't expect you to believe any of it. Take what you can. Whatever supports you, use it. If it doesn't resonate with you, let it go. That's just what we share, because that's what resonates most with us and what we've been using to grow and change in ourselves. So I wanted to make sure we said that.

Question: I read or heard somewhere that loving yourself means loving yourself even when you don't love yourself.

And I'm finding now my heart is in a really good space; it's very easy for me to love lately. To love myself, love everyone around me. And I know from experience that there's other times that it's all dark. I don't feel any love in my heart and that's when it's a hard time to love myself and love other people. I wonder is there a way to sort of beam myself love when I'm in this kind of open heart state? Do you have any wisdom about how to use that to help me at the other times when it's dark and when they don't have that love?

Linda: For me, I used the times when I feel really open-hearted. When I can really feel connected with the universe and everyone around me and everything around me, I use. I remember that when I'm feeling depressed or thinking "I should have known this before, I should have learned this long ago. Or I want to give up." Or feeling superior -- whatever it is that I'm feeling that comes from fear.

Because all of the things I'm describing are coming from fear.

And so for me it's so important for me to know this is a fear-based part of my personality. And I've come here to challenge it, to not let it control me. I sometimes can't remember that in the moment. But as soon as I can, I make a different choice. It may not be right in that moment, but it takes it takes practice and it takes commitment. And a lot of courage to move from a place of feeling like everything's not right to saying "Okay, I'm going to feel where that is. I'm going to notice these thoughts, but I am not going to let this control me and I'm going to choose something else and do whatever it is that you can, that's healthiest that you can in that moment.

I remember one time, probably one of the worst difficult times of my life. I don't know how long it lasted, but it was quite a long time. And I just felt like I didn't care about anything. You know I just felt flat. I just felt like I couldn't feel anything. I didn't care about anything. I can't really can explain the state, but it was really powerful.

I had heard a message on my voicemail -- and I don't even know why I picked up my phone, because I didn't even care. I wasn't even answering my phone at that time. I wasn't doing anything. But I picked up my phone and listened to this message. And a friend of mine had called me and she wanted to talk to me, like she really needed some support. And, I thought to myself, "I can't help anybody." That was the thought that came because I was in such a state.

Then, I thought, "Okay, well I could call her and I could just listen. I can't say anything because there's nothing I could do to help anybody that's who did that. So I did. I called her. The act of just thinking that, and picking up the phone, and beginning to call her started changing me. Because I even took just a moment to make a little bit of change in myself just to begin to change that really strong state I was in, I felt like all this help came in from the universe. It just started pouring in and helping me.

So, as I was talking to my friend, by the end of the conversation, I was totally engaged and totally supportive of her. That whole state of depression, or whatever it was, was gone. And this was something that happened many, many years ago, but I still remember that. It reminds me of how just the thought of helping someone else -- of doing something different to go in that direction when you're in that much control of a frightened part -- can begin to change things. And it made such a difference for me. And I've used that experience many times to think about that, knowing that what I need to do is just want to do something caring toward someone else.

The other thing is that I have people around me that are my spiritual partners. What I mean by that is a partnership between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth. I'm not just talking about Gary, I'm talking about other people in my life -- like our grandchildren or people that are in our programs. They're our spiritual partners. You know, I love that. Let's say I'm in a fear-based part of my personality, but I'm not aware of it. You know, I'm doing something that I'm not aware of. They will say something to me because I say I want that.

And it's so thrilling to me to have that happen. So thrilling in the moment. Those parts don't really like it, but I'm thrilled! The inside of me is thrilled about it because that's the kind of partnership I feel that eventually we all are going to come together to be. We're going to say what we really need to say to each other. From love.

I'll give you an example. One day, I was in the kitchen, and our granddaughters were visiting us. They were pretty young, maybe 10 and 12, or maybe 8 and 10. They're sitting in the kitchen, and I'm making some food. I think I was making a smoothie. But I was in a hurry, and I had gotten caught in a frightened part of myself that was impatient and trying to get things done quick.

I'm just running around the kitchen trying to get everything done.

So my granddaughters are sitting in the kitchen, and I could see out of the corner of my eye that they're whispering to each other.

Then, the older one says, "Grandma, I think you're in a frightened part of your personality right now."

[laughter] It made me laugh so hard that I was instantly out of it. Because they had never done that before. They had never had the courage to say something like that to me. We've been talking about these things to them since they were very small. You know, about how you can know the different parts of your personality, but you don't have to be controlled by them. And we can support each other in that. But grandparents and don't usually have relationships with their grandchildren where the grandchildren can say something to the grandparent. It's a little different kind of a relationship.

But it's so exciting to me to have relationships like that -- to really have that that possibility. And I know it's possible, because I see it happening now all the time where we're really helping each other. How good is that to support each other when we see something, so that we really accelerate each others' growth? When we can say loving things to each other [...] and we can also say the other things we notice, if we have an agreement. Now you have to have an agreement with someone. You can't just run up to someone and say, "I think you're in a fear based part of your personality. I don't know if you should be doing that." :)

But it's more just an agreement that you have between two people. I think you can tell I'm excited about this because this is the thing I've been really -- Gary and I have been working on for a while, in our events, and with each other for a really long time.

But it just seems like, for me, the cutting edge of relationship -- how we can really be in a true relationship. I think Nipun calls it a "noble friendship," which is, to me, the same. It's like when you have that agreement with each other that you can actually really support each other in growth. And that's exciting.

Gary: Thank you for letting us be here, and share these things. To me, they're the nectar of life. They are the things that are really significant. Which means your life. That's what's really significant in your life. So thank you, Harshida. And thank you, Dinesh, for allowing us to be here. And thank you for coming and sharing your love with us. The good "love," you know. We talked about that. :)

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Comments (3)

  • Birju Pandya wrote ...

    Thanks so much for sharing this! 

  • Shaalini Srinivasan wrote ...

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Dinesh Uncle!

  • Michaele Premet-Rosen wrote ...

    Deep gratitude for this powerful sharing of wisdom.